Muslim Woman Leader Challenges Stereotypes

November 3, 2005

Source: The San Antonio Current

On November 3, 2005 The San Antonio Current reported, "Since September 11, 2001 [Sarwat Husain, an American immigrant from Pakistan, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and founder of a monthly newspaper, Al-Ittihaad (Unity)]... has embarked on a mission to correct public misperceptions about Muslims: They are not all Arabs. Islam does not advocate violence, but rather, social justice. And to lump all Muslims together with fundamentalist extremists is like condemning all white men because Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City or Eric Rudolph bombed abortion clinics and the 1996 Olympics. As one of the most visible and politically outspoken members of the local Muslim community, Husain is accustomed to eliciting curiosity, fear, and hostility from those who do not know her - or from those who think they do. 'I can take it in stride,' says Husain, who moved to San Antonio in 1989 and earned her master's degree in clinical nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word. 'Many of my friends, they shut themselves in. They're scared. But that is no way to live. Stand up for who you are.'"